Teeth whitening is a simple, effective cosmetic dental treatment that we offer to noticeably enhance your smile in as little as one treatment. Tooth whitening is a procedure which lightens the teeth and helps with stain removal and discoloration. Our professional teeth whitening treatments utilize a powerful yet safe whitening gel that is applied to the surface of your teeth. This gel works to lighten the appearance of stains, discoloration, and yellowing on the tooth enamel.
Teeth whitening is often available in both in-office and take-home systems. Professional teeth whitening can give you a noticeably whiter smile that will boost your self-esteem and help you smile with pride.
If you have ever wished that your smile were whiter and brighter, teeth whitening might be right for you. Through professional teeth whitening, we can lighten staining and discoloration caused by various factors, such as:
- The natural aging process
- Poor dental hygiene habits
- Consumption of certain drinks and foods, including tea, wine, coffee, and soda
- Smoking and other forms of tobacco use
- Certain medications
Whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because the way your teeth look can be greatly improved. Whitening is not a one-off procedure. If you want to sustain a brighter tooth color, it will need to be repeated as necessary.
A tooth’s outer layer is called the enamel. The natural teeth color is created by reflecting and dispersing light off the enamel, combined with the dentin color under it. The thickness and smoothness of the enamel is affected by your genes. Thinner enamel makes it possible to display more of the dentin color. Smoother or rougher enamel also affects light reflection as well as your tooth color.
Tooth whitening procedure
There are two main types of processes of tooth whitening. Vital whitening, and Non-vital whitening. Vital whitening is used for teeth with live nerves. Non- vital whitening is performed on a tooth that has had a root- canal and has no living nerve anymore.
Vital Tooth whitening
The most common form of vital tooth whitening uses a gel that is applied directly to the tooth’s surface. The gel is activated by a specialized light or laser and allows bleaching to occur faster.
Whitening in the office usually takes between 30 and 90 minutes. You need 1 to 3 visits to have your tooth whitening process be most effective. The number will depend on the method you use, the severity of your stains, and how white you want your teeth to be. Different types of stains react to the treatment differently.
Your dentist will first use a substance that covers and protects the gums around your teeth. Then place the whitening agent on your teeth Some whitening agents are activated from laser light, or a special heat from the light. The dentist will shine the light on your teeth after the whitening agent has been applied. If they are badly discolored, your dentist may suggest that for a few days or weeks you continue the bleaching process at home.
Non-vital tooth whitening
The appearance of a tooth that has been treated with root canal may not improve with vital whitening because of the inside of the tooth. If so, your dentist will use another procedure to whiten the tooth from within. He or she will put a whitening agent in the tooth and fill it temporarily. For a number of days, the tooth will be left with the whitening agent. This may only be necessary once, but it can be repeated until the tooth reaches the intended shade.
Upon completion of the tooth whitening procedure, we advise you to avoid eating or drinking food with high pigment levels for at least 24 hours. These include coffee, tea, tomato sauce, tomato juice, mustard yellow, beets, black grapes, sweets, and red wine. We also recommend avoiding smoking or tobacco use of any kind for 24 hours as well.
Teeth can change color for many different reasons. Tooth color may change because of many reasons including diet, age, medications, or tobacco use.
Diet effects on teeth
Coffee, tea and red wine are some of the biggest culprits of staining. What’s in common with them? Intense color pigments called chromogens attach to your tooth’s white, outer layer.
Tobacco effects on teeth.
The two tobacco chemicals cause staining in your teeth. Tar and nicotine. Tar is dark, of course. Until it is mixed with oxygen, nicotine is colorless. It then turns into a yellowish substance.
How aging effects tooth color
There is a softer area called dentin below your teeth’s hard, white outer shell (enamel). Over time, brushing makes the outer layer of enamel thinner and more of the yellowish dentine shows through.
Medications effect on tooth color
Tooth discoloring may be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and medications for high blood pressure. Young children exposed to antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth form (in the womb or as a baby) may become discolored later in life. Chemotherapy and radiation from the head and neck may also change tooth color.
Whitening is not a solution that is permanent. The stains are going to come back. If you smoke or eat a lot of staining foods or drinks, the whiteness may begin to fade in as little as one month. You may not need another whitening treatment for 6 to 12 months if you avoid these sources of staining.
We will work with you to determine the right type of treatment and treatment length to achieve the smile aesthetic you desire. To learn more about professional teeth whitening and to set up your consultation at our office, please contact us today.